In recent history, direct marketers have approached the selection of marketing prospects with relatively simple information about individual consumers. Fueled by advances incomputer and communications technology, modern database-driven businesses have become more sophisticated; the level of detail with which marketers examine individual customers has increased rapidly. Online consumer data is particularly suited to the business practicalities of database marketing. The Internet offers tremendous promise to business in its quest for more effective and efficient marketing practices.
Shaun A. Sparks, The Direct Marketing Model and Virtual Identity: Why the United States Should Not Create Legislative Controls On the Use of Online Consumer Personal Data, 18 Penn St. Int'l L. Rev. 517 (2000).